Meeting Roles

Toastmasters meetings have a number of roles that Members need to fill, in order for the meeting to take place. As part of your Leadership education, a number of these roles need to be completed by Level 3 of Pathways, regardless of which Path you have chosen. I have posts about all of these roles elsewhere on my blog. Please find links below.

The main Meeting roles are:
Failte Officer/ SAA – Committee Role
Toastmaster –
Grammarian –
Timekeeper –
Speaker –
Evaluator –
Zoom Master –
General Evaluator –
Listening Post –
President – Committee Role
Vice President of Education – Committee Role

Other possible Roles your Club may have:
Poet/Joke Master –
Ah Counter –

The roles that you need to complete before you finish Level 3:
Ah Counter
General Evaluator
Grammarian
Speech Evaluator
Timekeeper
Toastmaster
Table Topic Master

Links to other blogposts about these roles:
General Evaluator
Table Topics Master
Listening Post
Timekeeper/Timer
SAA
Zoom Master
Grammarian

Timekeeper/Timer

The Timekeeper/Timer is responsible for timing all the sections of the evening, in order for things to be accurate and punctual. This helps people practice the skill of expressing yourself within a specific time and to stop people waffling on.

Before the meeting, check the Agenda and raise any queries with the Toastmaster of the meeting. In particular, note the times of the prepared speeches. Prepare an explanation of your role. Make it interesting – for example, google ‘time’ for a fascinating fact. Like all Meeting Roles, you should use it as another excuse to talk, so make as much of the role as you can it the time permitted.

When you arrive at the meeting collect the timing equipment from the Sergeant at Arms/Failte Officer and make sure that you have the three colours and a bell. Make sure to sit where the signal device can be seen easily by those at the lectern.

During the meeting, when you are introduced, give an explanation of your role and demonstrate the signal device. Throughout the meeting remember to signal each participant as required and record each persons name and time used. When asked to give your report by the Toastmaster, stand at the front of the room and announce the participant’s name and the time taken. You can, if you wish, when reporting on the time of each Table Topic, remind the audience in a few words about the subject.

After the meeting, return the Timekeeping equipment to the Sergeant at Arms.

Make sure to register that you have filled the role in Pathways.

Zoom Master

Our Club has been hosting Zoom meetings since March, due to the Pandemic that started to travel around the world in November of 2019, and that then hit our shores in the first quarter of this year (our first confirmed case was on the 29th of February 2020). This led to the new role of Zoom Master being created, the idea behind the role was that one person would deal with the technical online end of the meeting, so that members that had other roles could focus on their duties. One of our clubs co-founders, Karen, taught me how to use Zoom, as I had never used it before, and she informed me as to which features of the software would benefit our Club the best. It has been a pleasurable, fun honour for me to fulfil this role up until this stage. We have decided that it would probably be better is other people also got to try this role, and so we have added it to the list of roles that people can sign up to try.

In our Club, the Zoom Master ‘Spotlights’ the present Speaker, this means that the person stays on screen, even if someone else makes a noise or speaks, which is beneficial for those Members making Speeches or giving Reports. One of the most basic jobs in this role, is to make sure that the invitation with the correct details attached gets sent out to the Members on time. We also record our meetings, so that we can pass the videos on to the Speakers, and, if I have permission, some of the videos get posted to our YouTube Channel, or Facebook Page.

Zoom Master is not a difficult job, but, it is an enjoyable job, as it is nice to think that you are helping your fellow members and Club.

Poet Master

The role of Poet Master does not seem to be filled in all Clubs. However, we use it in our Club and it is always an interesting part of the evenings that it features. I filled the role a couple of Meetings ago for the first time, so I made a set of notes to help me try to fulfil the role properly. I have also included the poem that I used. The poem was one that popped up on my Twitter feed a couple of days before hand.

Tips for Poet Masters

Give contextual background or explanation of poems meaning if necessary
Read poem aloud during meeting
Be familiar with it, so you don’t stumble through it
No need to try and impress people with something considered highbrow
Pay attention to punctuation
Only pause if there is punctuation, line breaks do not count as punctuation
Read slowly
Use natural voice, don’t be too dramatic, don’t be monotonous, expression is ok
Enunciate carefully
Learn correct meanings and provocations of all words 
Record yourself reading it and listen back, to check speed and tone.
Practice 
1-2 minutes, not a timed role

Sergeant at Arms

General Tasks:
Confirm room booking
Ensure Club supplies

Meeting Preparation:
Set up meeting
Arrange furniture
Hand out materials
Check temperature
Ask guests to sign in
Check badges

Meeting:
Open meeting
Welcome everyone

Let everyone know the following things:
Please put your phones on silent
Fire exits
Parking ticket validation
Mention tea & biscuits for networking break
Energiser exercise / Riddle?
Collect ballots and count votes

After Meeting:
Restore room back to original state
Bring Club property back to check in desk and ask them to store it.
Tidy up
Remove rubbish

Ah Counter

The job of the Ah Counter is to keep log of distracting expressions like ‘ah’ and ‘um’, ‘you know’, as well as other crutch words. Our Club amalgamates this role with that of the Grammarian, there is a separate post on the Role of Grammarian on this Blog.

Prior to meeting
Prepare a brief report on the duties of ah counter, so that you can explain the role to the Club members.
You also need to prepare a sheet of paper to log the expressions used, I have attached my log below.

During Meeting
Introduce role of ah counter, this speech should last about 1 minute, you can use this as another opportunity to speak and to bring some of your flair to the job.
You will need to listen to everyone and keep a track of all the inappropriate filler sounds/words used by everyone speaking at the meeting.
Be sure to write down the name of each person who speaks so you can give an accurate report of non offenders as well as offenders.
Tally the counts for each speaker
Give a report when called upon.

Listening Post

Another role in Toastmasters is that of the Listening Post, the aim of the role of listening post is to listen to all the evenings speakers and then test how well members have been listening during the meeting. It is also to help all members with their listening skills. When it is your turn to be introduced to the audience, take 2 minutes to explain the role to the gathered members.

During meeting:
Listen for facts, quotes and listening points.
Turn these into 8-10 questions and answers
Keep notes as meeting goes on

End of Meeting:
Stand at lectern
Present your questions to the audience to test their listening skills
Mix them up, don’t do them in chronological order

Suggestions:
Start easy and get harder
Try true/false format
Split into two team’s right vs left or girls vs boys

Try to be amusing

Reporting time: 2-3 Minutes